Karaka's Clean Sweep of HK Triple Crown   28 May 2012

The talented stayer Liberator has taken the biggest race victory of his career beating fellow Karaka graduate Ambitious Dragon in the final leg of Hong Kong's Triple Crown, the HK$8 million HK-1 Champions & Chater Cup (2400m) at Sha Tin last night.

With Hong Kong's Horse of the Year Ambitious Dragon (Pins) having won the first two legs of the Triple Crown - the HK-1 Stewards' Cup (1600m) and the HK-1 Hong Kong Gold Cup (2000m) - it was Liberator who claimed race honours in the final leg giving Karaka graduates a clean sweep in the prestigious Triple Crown.

Ridden by jockey Weichong Marwing, the four-year-old gelding Liberator (Encosta de Lago x Miss Helga) raced close to the pace in the 2400 metre feature, with Ambitious Dragon (Pins) racing at the back of the field.

Liberator Chater Cup
Liberator races away to give Karaka a clean sweep of Hong Kong's Triple Crown. Photo courtesy of the HKJC.
After increasing the tempo and contesting the lead at the 800 metre mark, Liberator took control of the race 600 metres from home and kicked clear in the straight, with a brilliant performance holding off the fast finishing Ambitious Dragon to win by a length-and-a-half.

"He has improved so much and the race just panned out so well for him because if he sits on the outside of a horse he's at his best," said Liberator's trainer David Ferraris.

"If he can sit on a horse's girth and travel comfortably, he's hard to run down. I knew when he kicked hard like that the rest would have to pick up their feet because he's an out and out stayer. It was a very good move from Marwing because if they had kept up the slow tempo they would have out sprinted us."

Liberator was purchased by the Hong Kong Jockey Club from Gordon Cunningham's Curraghmore Stud at New Zealand Bloodstock's 2009 Karaka Premier Sale for $360,000. He was then offered at the 2009 Hong Kong International Sale where the son of Encosta de Lago was purchased by Siu Kim Sun Martin for HK$5 million.

"Most of these nice horses are bought from overseas trainers but it's nice to bring one up from scratch. He will have a well-earned rest now and we will aim him at the Group 1 Hong Kong Vase in December," said Ferraris.

Bred by Caradale Pty Ltd, Liberator is raced by the 06/07 David Ferraris Trainer Syndicate and the four-year-old's record now stands at 23 starts for 5 wins and seven placings for over $1.3 million in stakes.

Ambitious Dragon was looking to become just the second horse to win all three legs of the Triple Crown, a feat accomplished only by River Verdon (Be My Native) in 1994.

His wins in the first two legs were outstanding performances and his second placing last night was every bit up to the high standard that has become expected from the reigning Horse of the Year.

Untested over 2400 metres, the race was unchartered territory for Ambitious Dragon and his trainer Tony Millard was very proud of the five-year-old's performance.

"He was very gallant in defeat and I couldn't be happier with him. He just got found out by a top-class ride from Marwing."

Bred by Mr Pat Lowry, Ambitious Dragon was offered by Belvedere Farm at the 2008 Karaka Select Sale and has won 10 of his 20 starts for over NZ$6.3 million in stakes.

New Zealand bred horses and Karaka graduates were to the fore last night at Sha Tin winning five races on the 11-race card.

Scarlett Camellia (Spartacus) continued his impressive start he has made in Hong Kong. Winning his only race last season for trainer Danny Shum, the four-year-old has won three of his six starts this season including last night's Class 3 Oriental Express Handicap (1600m).

Mega Castle (Brilliance) took his second win of the season for trainer Manfred Man in the Class 5 Quicken Away Handicap (1600m), while Isitide (Istidaad) was successful for trainer Andreas Schutz in the Class 4 River Verdon Handicap, also over a mile, bringing up his first win in Hong Kong.

The John Size trained Real Specialist (Storming Home) is another that is making his way through the grades. From 10 starts the four-year-old has won five races including the Class 2 Viva Pataca Handicap (1800m) last night by an impressive two-and-a-quarter-lengths.

(NZ Bloodstock)

Add a comment

Bookmark and Share

News

NZ welcomes interception of IUU fishing vessels

23 May 2015 News
Foreign Minister Murray McCully has welcomed the news that two well-known illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing vessels,... more

Archives New Zealand to rebuild Christchurch facility

22 May 2015 News
22 May 2015 The Budget confirms $6.1 million in operating funding over the next four years and $13 million of capital funding from... more

Business

NZ consumer confidence slips in May

22 May 2015 Business News By Tina Morrison
May 22 (BusinessDesk) - New Zealand consumer confidence slipped in May as sentiment about current and future conditions eased. The... more

Consumer NZ vs Qantas

20 May 2015 Business News
Article - BusinessDesk   Consumer NZ ramps up campaign to get Qantas's Jetstar to drop pre-ticked booking forms May 20... more

Living

NZ Surfer Daniel Kereopa in New Documentary

23 May 2015 Lifestyle
The pride and glory of winning The Ultimate Waterman is relived for Kiwi Daniel Kereopa in a documentary that went live online this... more

Britain remembers the ANZACs - 100 years on

25 Apr 2015 ANZAC By Charlotte Everett
100 years after allied forces landed in Gallipoli, 25 April – ANZAC Day – has been commemorated in the UK officially for... more

Property

New guidance on home construction

22 May 2015 Property
Building and Housing Minister Dr Nick Smith today released at the Certified Builders’ Association conference in Christchurch... more

Goodman Property lifts FY earnings 5.4% on revenue growth

20 May 2015 Property By Paul McBeth
  Goodman Property lifts FY earnings 5.4% on revenue growth, cost clamp down May 20 (BusinessDesk) - Goodman Property Trust,... more

Migration

Migrant exploitation Bill passed

30 Apr 2015 Migration
The Immigration Amendment Bill (No 2) which cracks down on employers who exploit migrant workers passed its final reading in... more

NZ migration hits new annual record in March

23 Apr 2015 Migration By Tina Morrison
April 23 (BusinessDesk) - New Zealand migration hit a new annual record in March, as more students arrived from India and China and... more

Travel

Border clearance levy to be introduced

21 May 2015 Travel & Tourism
New Zealand Government Hon Nathan GuyMinister for Primary IndustriesHon Nicky WagnerMinister of Customs 21 May 2015 Border clearance... more

Two new tourism projects to receive funding

20 May 2015 NZ Tourism
  Prime Minister and Tourism Minister John Key has today announced the Government is investing in two new tourism projects in... more

Sport

Lord's century for Kane Williamson

23 May 2015 Cricket
DAY THREE First Innings: England 389 (Root 98, Stokes 92, Buttler 67, Ali 58; Henry 4-93, Boult 4-79) v BLACKCAPS 523 (Guptill 70,... more

BLACKCAPS tour of England: First Test at Lord's Cricket Ground

22 May 2015 Cricket
First innings at stumps on Day One: England 354-7 in 90 overs (Root 98, Stokes 92, Buttler 67, Ali 49*; Henry 3-93 on Test debut) DAY... more

Columns

Gordon Campbell on Budget 2015

22 May 2015 Opinion By Gordon Campbell
From the outset, the slogan for yesterday’s Budget - “The Plan Is Working” – begged to be mocked.... more

Gordon Campbell Key’s abuse of secrecy over Iraq & The TPP

30 Apr 2015 Opinion By Gordon Campbell
  For the past week or so we’ve been hearing a lot about the child-like side of our Prime Minister. So I guess we... more

Kiwi Success

Top biology student off to Denmark Olympiad

21 May 2015 People
Sixteen-year-old Waikato Dio student Nikita Lyons is one of four students representing New Zealand at the International Biology... more

New High Commissioner to Tonga

15 May 2015 Appointments
Foreign Minister Murray McCully has today announced diplomat Sarah Walsh as New Zealand’s new High Commissioner to... more

Recruitment

NZ's growing ICT sector drives more diverse economy: Joyce

15 May 2015 State of the Market Report By Paul McBeth
  NZ's growing ICT sector drives rapid economic diversification, Joyce says May 15 (BusinessDesk) - New Zealand's information... more

5,500 more doctors and nurses in our hospitals

15 May 2015 Recruitment
  Health Minister Jonathan Coleman says a record number of doctors and nurses are working in District Health Boards across the... more